I know it's early for 53 projections but I couldn't help myself after the draft. But these predictions are fun . A shame we can only 53 man can be on the roster. The 53 man roster should be expanded to 57. Overall this was a very good draft. We plugged cracks (because we had no gaping holes), provided needed depth, and replenished for the future. I'm pretty shocked, but quite stoked that we came away with so many picks. I thought we'd trade up a few times, but honestly, I really didn't want us to. As I stated in my first mock I preferred us to pick all 11 picks – we came away with 12. So, this is my early view of our 53 man roster and 46 game roster.
Italicized makes the 53 only.
QB – 3
Yes, I have Faulkner beating out Bethel-Thomas.
RB – 4
I think LMJ will be either cut or traded. Drafting Carlos Hyde in the 2nd and Bruce Ellington (a speedy WR with serious return ability) spoke loud volumes to me about how JH & Co. view the direction of our RB position. I just don't get the impression that the coaching staff really even thought LMJ even fit into what JH & Co. want to do offensively. This will be a transition year for our backfield. Just my prediction but I see Gore as the "feature" back only on paper. I think Hunter, Lattimore, and Hyde will probably get about 80-90% of the total carries, with Lattimore probably getting 50% of the total number of carries (but Hunter will have a lot to say about that). My bet is that Gore retires after this season. But that's just how I see it anyway.
FB – 2
*Trey Millard (will be on IR)
TE – 2
Going forward, Trey Millard adds way more value to the roster so I don't think G. Celek will make it this season.
WR – 5
I would love for us to carry 6, but it won't happen. Brandon Lloyd, Jon Baldwin, Chuck Jacobs will be cut. I don't think David Reed and Devon Wylie will be PS eligible so they'll be out as well. (Zoners are more than welcome to correct me on that if I'm wrong.) I honestly think we could keep 6, but I doubt it (that doubt isn't a strong doubt though). If we keep 6 look out for Brandon Lloyd or DeMarco Sampson. Also, I like Quinton Patton, but he had better be really careful here. This team is WAY too close this season, so I seriously doubt that JH & Co. are gonna be in any mood for patients for lack of production from this position. Drafting Bruce Ellington (not to mention acquiring Stevie Johnson) should've sent a real message to Patton. If Patton don't learn to run routs and catch on both sides of the field we could see a lot of Bruce Ellington, and early too.
OT – 3
OG – 4
Brandon Thomas (can play OT)
I think Adam Snyder and Ryan Seymour will be out, just too much young talent (see Brandon Thomas) for them to make this 53.
C – 2
Marcus Martin is gonna REALLY push Kilgore, and I would not at all be surprised to see him beat him our all together.
DE – 4
Quinton Dial/Tony Jerrod-Eddie
*Kaleb Ramsey (I think they'll find a way to stash him on IR given his durability concerns)
This D-line is loaded!! I think we will see the last of Demarcus Dobbs on this roster. I know he signed his tender but I just cannot see where he'll fit, given that we've drafted a truer FB and yet two more along the D-line. I predict Quinton Dial and Tony Jerrod-Eddie to really battle for playing time; that's a camp battle I'm salivating for. But the looser of that battle will be out, and that cut will be painful. For now imma pencil in Dial to edge him out on the 53. Kaleb Ramsey is injury prone, so I think JH & Co. will find a reason to stash him on IR, because he WILL NOT last on the PS. Don't think we will have any room for Lawrence Okoye, but I think he'll clear waivers and brought back to the PS for further development.
NT – 2
Just a hunch but I see Ian Williams regaining his starting spot at some point this season.
OLB – 4
*Morgan Breslin (will be stashed on IR)
*Aldon Smith (There will be a suspension coming for Aldon)
If Aldon isn't suspended I expect Dan Skuta to cut be a surprise last day roster cut, especially if Aaron Lynch shows any promise at all. Corey Lemonier will edge out Skuta for the other edge rusher.
ILB – 4
*Navarro Bowman (PUP)
I couldn't believe that we drafted Borland over Skov and that Skov didn't even get drafted at all. I thought Skov was better than Borland; I had us drafting skov. But I can understand the pick. Borland has Zach Thomas written all over him. But, we won't be able to hide Skov on the PS, so I see us finding space for him. I think Darius Fleming and Nick Moody gets the ax this season. Wilhoite will be the penciled in starter beside Willis. But I don't think that's rock solid. He'll have to earn it, and keep it until Bowman returns. Depending on how the roster looks by then we could lose Skov when Bowman returns. Hopefully we find space elsewhere or find a reason to stash him on IR.
CB – 5
Chris Cook/Eric Wright
*Keith Reaser (will be stashed on IR, all season)
Out: Perrish Cox, Daryl Morris, and Chris Cook or Eric Wright. For sure this will be the most exciting position to watch going forward. I think it's safe to say that Cully and Brock will be the starters. I cannot see Jimmie Ward as a safety, at least not yet. He'll be groomed to take over the FS spot in the future. But for now he'll be THE go to slot CB. We're in nickel most of the time, so there's no way on earth that Ward will be kept off the field in nickel packages. This don't bode well for Cook and Wright as one will be out (or be a recipient of JH's usage of the IR). I see Dontae Johnson as mostly a solid backup CB and ST guy.
S – 4
K – 1
P – 1
Colton Schmidt will be just a camp leg.
LS – 1
ST – 2
Kassim Osgood, Bubba Ventrone
Lawrence Okoye (will be brought back after clearing waivers)
Mike Purcell (won't last on PS)
Luke Marquardt (won't last on PS)
Carter Bykowski (could be brought back)
Dax Swanson (could be brought back)
Thoughts. . . .